FTO to stimulate $23m in production with new investment

[Release by NSW FTO]

The NSW Government will stimulate more than $23 million in film and television production expenditure in New South Wales after the decision by the New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) to invest in nine film and television productions in NSW, Minister for the Arts, Frank Sartor announced today.

The FTO investments are in two feature films, four television series, two factual series and one documentary. The new productions include a television series from Producer Penny Chapman (The Road From Coorain, Ran), a documentary from Sally Regan, the producer of Forbidden Lies, and the second series of the BAFTA-nominated and AFI-Award winning series Lockie Leonard, based on the Tim Winton books and produced by Kylie de Fresne.

“The FTO will invest around $1.8 million to leverage $23.5 million in production and post production – so for every $1 invested by the FTO, around $14 is directly spent on production in NSW,” Mr Sartor said.

“These strategic investments across feature films, television series and factual programs will boost employment for many of our technicians, actors and post production companies. It’s pleasing too that the FTO has invested both in projects from very experienced producers, but also in some exciting new producing, directing and writing talent.”

The television series My Place, to be produced by Penny Chapman, is based on the acclaimed Nadia Wheatley/Donna Rawlins children’s book and is the story of one spot in Australia told by the children who have lived there over 260 years. It will be both a television drama event and a rich, educative broadband experience. Writers are Alice Addison, Blake Ayshford, Beth Armstrong, Nicholas Parsons, Leah Purcell and Greg Waters.

Sue Clothier, Sally Regan, Mike Bluett and Andrew Ferns will produce Darwin’s Brave New World, an Australia/UK co-production. The 3 x 1 hour drama-documentary series is about how the Southern hemisphere gave birth to the most controversial idea in science. Directors are Lisa Matthews and Jason Bourque and Writer is Katherine Thompson. Executive Producers are Mark Hamlyn and Pat Ferns.

Lockie Leonard Series 2, from Producer Kylie de Fresne, revisits all of the comedic and emotional strengths of the highly successful first series. Together with his family, Lockie will again stumble his way through a succession of funny, fanciful, subversive, emotional yet always touching and empowering snapshots of the weirdness of every teenage life and love. Writers are Keith Thompson, Michael Miller and Shelley Birse.

Set in New York, New Orleans, LA and, Sydney, Angels In New York is an observational documentary series that follows the personal journey of two unknown Australians who now face the biggest challenge of their life – producing a Broadway
Musical and making it an Epic show to rival Andrew Lloyd Webber and Co. Producer is Liz Courtney, Executive Producer is Gregory Miller and Director is Chester Dent.

Academy-Award winning documentary maker David Bradbury will write and direct My Asian Heart, a powerful and confronting portrait of Australian photographer Philip Blenkinsop as he journeys to war torn South East Asia covering lesser-known conflicts and uprisings. Producers are David Bradbury and Carmelo Musca.

The Waiting City is a feature film by Writer/Director Claire McCarthy and Producer Jamie Hilton. The film is the story of a childless couple finding each other on their journey to parenthood. The intoxicating backdrop of Calcutta, India, sets the scene for a mesmerising story of joy, challenge and sorrow.

Mad Bastards is a feature film by Writer/Director Brendan Fletcher with Producers Alan Pigram, Stephen Pigram, Brendan Fletcher and David Jowsey and Executive Producer Martin Fabinyi. It tells the story of TJ, a renowned fighter in a remote West Australian community who, when locked up one time too many, takes on the prejudice of the local justice system and opens up new hope for his community by learning to fight a different way.

Producers Avrill Stark and Paul Kofod will make the series Enyo, to be directed by Steve Cooper and written by Ray Boseley, Naomi Janzen, Stephen Measday, Anthony Morris and David Witt. Against an exotic fantasy backdrop of prehistoric beasts and shamanism, the series is about a clever and talent 12 year old old boy named Enyo who is learning to understand the language of animals, read hidden messages in nature and ‘see’ glimpses of the future … while he takes us on a spectacular journey of fantasy, fun and wild adventure.

The third series of animation Erky Perky will be produced by Tracy Lenon, with Executive Producers Jason Moody and Michael Boughen for Ambience Concept. Director is David Webster and Writer Simon Hopkinson. Erky and Perky are bugs living an idyllic life on a downtown hotdog stand when they are swept away to a sterile kitchen with no food in sight.

Chief Executive of the FTO, Tania Chambers, said: “These productions are particularly exciting for the quality of the storytelling, the creativity of the approach by the filmmakers and the use of cutting-edge technology and delivery platforms. FTO is proud to be a partner with such talent.”